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Collaboration Brings Free COVID-19 Testing to Geneva Square Friday

Chesapeake, Va.— The Urban League of Hampton Roads, The Virginia Office Of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Chesapeake Regional Healthcare, Chesapeake Health Department, as well as other community leaders, are once again work together to provide free COVID-19 testing to an underserved community in Chesapeake. After successfully testing in the MacDonald Manor neighborhood in May, the next community testing will occur in the Geneva Square area of Deep Creek on Friday, June 5th from 10 am to 2 p.m. 

The event will provide nasal-swab tests for up to 400 participants. Those who are symptom-free are encouraged to test and need not be residents of the Geneva Square community. Results will be delivered confidentially in approximately 48 hours.              

Testing will take place at 700 Geneva Avenue in Chesapeake. Participants will receive food boxes, hand sanitizer, face masks, and other items through partnerships with the Southeastern Virginia Food Bank, Chesapeake Office of Emergency Management, the Governor’s office and other organizations. Tests and supplies will be offered on a first-come, first-serve basis. Participants are encouraged to be patient and practice social distancing.      

Reese Jackson, President & CEO of Chesapeake Regional Healthcare commenting on the testing events says, “To combat COVID-19 and encourage prevention, our efforts to educate the public include self-awareness and concern for others. They are of utmost importance and one of the primary reasons we are testing within the community.” He added, “This event would not be possible without a shared interest from the Chesapeake Department of Health and the Chesapeake Redevelopment Housing Authority.”

Janice Underwood, Ph.D., Chief Diversity Officer for the Commonwealth of Virginia and the COVID-19 Equity Task Force arranged for 20,000 masks and 20,000 bottles of hand sanitizer to be donated to the City of Chesapeake for those at elevated risk of death from COVID-19. Kits with masks and hand sanitizers will be provided for all who attend the testing event on Friday. Of the state’s involvement, Dr. Underwood says, “As we address the structural inequities that have caused the disparate impact of COVID-19 on black, brown, and native communities, I am pleased to see the collaborative way Chesapeake is working to take care of those that have been historically under-represented. We encourage inclusive efforts like these to help accomplish the much-needed changes we need in our nation and Commonwealth.”

Mary Bibbs, Chief Operating Officer for Urban League of Hampton Roads offers, “We are excited about our partnership with Chesapeake Regional Healthcare because it provides testing and PPE for people who are underserved. ‘Empowering communities and changing lives’ is the Urban League’s mission, and I am pleased to empower our at-risk communities in Chesapeake.”

Dr. Nancy Welch, Director of the Chesapeake Health Department says, “All entities have a shared imperative interest to test and educate our minority populations due to their higher risk of severe disease. We want our community to be safe and well.”

Bringing COVID-19 testing to underserved neighborhoods throughout the city of Chesapeake is a priority for all involved. The first site was held May 14, 2020 at MacDonald Manor and others will follow.

Media inquiries should be directed to:

  • THE OFFICE OF RALPH S. NORTHAM - Alena Yarmosky, Press Secretary. alena.yarmosky@governor.virginia.gov 
  • URBAN LEAGUE OF HAMPTON ROADS – Mary Bibbs, Operations Consultant, (336) 269-9943 mbibbs@ulhr.org 
  • CHESAPEAKE HEALTH DEPARTMENT – Kimi Stevens, Public Relations & Social Marketing, (757) 382-8650, kimi.stevens@vdh.virginia.gov 
  • CHESAPEAKE REGIONAL HEALTHCARE – Tricia Hardy, Media Relations Specialist, (757) 312-6873, tricia.hardy@chesapeakeregional.com 

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